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From the Formation Corner

This year’s program is so different from last year’s. I would say that it is very much of a “hands on” year where the novice, during her second year, gets to practice her skills in light of what she has learned about religious life. The three fundamental areas of concentration include prayer, community life and ministry. More specifically, as part of the second year novitiate the goals are:

  • To offer space for integration of all that one learned during her canonical year.
  • To provide the novice with a positive environment that will nurture her discernment.
  • To offer a positive experience that will help deepen the novice’s sense of belonging to the Congrégation de Notre-Dame.

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Parish Tea Party in White Plains

We invited some of the women of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for tea and an Advent prayer service. This morning of prayer had refreshments, a much requested tour of the house, followed by a reflection and personal quiet time, leading to mass at church next door. It was a lovely day, full of interculturality, joy of the season, and prayerful reflection.

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Sister Frances Claus and her Toy Workshop

Among the many opportunities I had to shadow the sisters of Toronto in their ministries, I had the most fun with Frances Claus in her Toy Workshop in the basement of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. She and her fellow elf Bev are busy each year preparing Christmas packages for 500 children, each package containing an age and gender appropriate combination of toys, crafts, books, balls, and something warm (socks, a hat, or gloves). They register the children in October and receive bags and bags of toys from the local radio station CHUM’s toy drive, but they don’t just distribute the gifts, passing them on. They make sure the boys and girls of each age group receive equivalent packages, and verify that they don’t receive the same gift from the previous year.

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